Post by fate
Could you help me to understand this sentence from John Fowles' "The Magus"?
"I was too green(1) to know that all cynicism masks a failure to
cope (2)(3) - an impotence(4), in short; and that to despise all
effort is the greatest effort of all(5)."
Any part in particular?
(1) "Too green" is "too inexperienced", with an implication that the
inexperience may be that of youth.
(2) People become cynical if they can't get what they
try for. The fox in the fable who couldn't reach the grapes concluded
that they were sour anyway.
(3) "To cope" is to deal with life, with reasonable success.
($) "Impotence" is the inability to do something, or (sometimes)
anything. It stings a bit more because it's sometimes used for
a man's failure to achieve an erection.
(5) It's a lot harder to stop trying and to pretend that you didn't
really want something than it is to keep trying to get it. I'm not sure
I agree, but it's certainly less useful.
Here's a Canadian song about that:
Rise again, rise again; though your heart it be broken
And life about to end.
No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend,
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again